- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
As Charles County braces for a potential snowstorm Tuesday, officials are preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.
The county will fall under a winter storm warning beginning 7 a.m. Tuesday, and wrapping up at 11 p.m. Early reports suggest snowfall will begin about 11 a.m. Charles County government spokeswoman Crystal Hunt said Monday afternoon that as of yet, no decision had been made yet on whether to close schools or government in light of the potential weather event.
Charles County Commissioner Ken Robinson (D), an avid weather tracker, said the National Weather Service has the county slated for at least 4 to 6 inches of snowfall Tuesday. Robinson also said the county stays in constant communication with the NWS in these instances.
“This is likely to be our biggest snow event since Snowmageddon,” Robinson said Monday afternoon, referring to the February 2010 blizzard that crippled the area for days and at its maximum dropped more than 38 inches of snow in Elkridge. “I suspect we’re going to have a day to stay inside. ... Getting to work wouldn’t be the issue, but getting people back from work would be.”
Robinson said some computer models are predicting up to a foot of snow in the county. Uncharacteristically of most storms of this nature, Robinson said, areas south of Washington, D.C., also are slated to receive more snow than the city itself due to moisture rising from the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Temperatures also are expected to be in the teens Tuesday, and high winds are expected. The frigid temperatures also will contribute to much of the snow sticking around.
Hunt said warming centers would be open Tuesday for those without shelter or power. The public buildings listed are open during regular business hours from Tuesday through Friday:
Capital Clubhouse, 3033 Waldorf Market Place, Waldorf, open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Department of Community Services, 8190 Port Tobacco Road, Port Tobacco, open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Port Tobacco Community Center, 8190 Port Tobacco Road, Port Tobacco, open 6 to 9 p.m.; Nanjemoy Community Center, 4375 Port Tobacco Road, Nanjemoy, open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Charles County Public Library, all branches open Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday 1 to 5 p.m., La Plata Branch, 2 Garrett Ave., La Plata; P.D. Brown Memorial Branch, 50 Village St., Waldorf; Potomac Branch, 3225 Ruth B. Swan Drive, Indian Head; Waldorf West, 10405 O’Donnell Place, Waldorf; Richard R. Clark Senior Center, 1210 Charles St., La Plata, open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Waldorf Volunteer Fire Department spokesman Jeff Duer urged citizens to “use good sense,” and follow all precautions, such as clearing blocked fire hydrants should they become covered by snow and not using generators in closed spaces. Duer also urged those with portable heaters to monitor carbon monoxide levels.
“If you don’t have to go out, don’t go out,” Duer said Monday.